Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Lease- Kyra

Last year in about August I found a horse named Kyra to lease. I don’t remember what her breed was but she was a fantastic horse to learn on, she was very understanding and patient and would try and try and try until she realized what you were asking her to do… however she was a little lazy and riding with a whip was a must to make sure she kept going forward. Kyra never had to be lunged or chased around a pasture to catch; she would come when you saw her and would try to rummage through your pockets for treats. She was exactly what I would have been looking for when I was 12.
She was a small mare (probably about 14.3 ish) so I looked a little awkward on her being that I am 5’5ish. The lady I was leasing her off of allowed me to ride as much as I wanted, and let me figure things out on my own with her which was nice… but with that came problems as well…. She felt that her little mare was the best thing on the planet that she could do no wrong. Kyra had some major issues with one of the corners of the arena… and that piled on top of my intense anxiety around horses ended up with me getting thrown pretty hard, I was in pain for a good two weeks. I did not blame Kyra at all I blamed myself and not paying attention but the owner was quite upset and felt that I was wrecking her horse (she never said this to me but people at the barn talk).
Being thrown just added to my anxiety but I kept riding and working through being extremely tense because I wanted more than anything at that time to learn to jump and to compete eventually in show jumping so I started taking lessons with my trainer Terena (who I am still training with) and she felt that I was ready to try taking Kyra over a few small cross rails, so one night we did just that we set up a jump and tried it out. The lady I was leasing Kyra from knew that I wanted to jump but when she found out that I jumped her mare she was very mad at me and asked me to never do that again… which is when I terminated the lease.
The lease lasted about 2 months and I rode 3-4x a week religiously but my riding didn’t improve very much, my anxiety didn’t improve either… I’m glad I didn’t end up buying Kyra because I don’t think we would have made a very good team in the long run. She was however an amazing mare and I loved her to pieces because she had the best personality. Below I added some pictures… the photos are blurry and please do not judge me on my jumping abilities lol or my posture looking at this now… well its embarrassing lol.

My son loved that he could sit on her without mommy holding him

yes i know my saddle was to small :( it was a old cheap a/p saddle

Little jump but felt amazing!


Summer is almost here... catch up post

I have been such a bad blogger it has been about two weeks since my last blog post. I will make it up to you guys though I am a little more settled everything has been moved into the new place and it seems that everything has settled down for the time being.
With everything being so calm G and I have had some of the best rides together and with the warmer weather coming I am anxious to get him used to us riding outside. We have made a lot of progress even though I am a little to poor right now to be able to pay for my lessons. I have decided not to take that second job because it will majorly cut into my horse time. So we are going to see how the summer goes it should be busier at work which would mean more commission for me.
G and I have been able to ride in the arena in all corners with very little fuss or refusing to do what I’m asking. I don’t need to ride with a whip because he is so responsive right now to my aids I am loving it, there is no backing up, no changing directions without my cues, it feels like he is a 20 year old horse some days.  We have been continuing to work on our trot work, I alternate from posting trot and seated trot, my legs and abs are getting much stronger and I am finding that I am able to keep my butt in the saddle much easier as well as control the pace of our trot with my seat and my posting. I need a little more work on it but we practice as often as I can but not for long periods of time since G is a little pudgy from the great life he had before so a little bit at a time for now.
His muscle definition is coming back really quickly so soon we will be able to ride for longer and start working on our canter. I have been keeping my hands still without even thinking about it… my riding seems to be falling into place the less I stress and beat myself up about it. He also is no longer walking off at the mounting block and we are able to ride in an arena with other people and horses with his attention on me.
I am really excited because things are going great with Alex and I, he even bugs me to go riding during the week after dinner and once my son is in bed offering to keep an eye on him make sure he is ok. So I think I am going to take advantage of this situation and try to ride Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and maybe add a Tuesday in there so G is getting a few days off here and there.
Sorry for such a crazy here there and everywhere type of post but I wanted to get caught up so I can stay on track with our progress. I am also trying to clean up my grammar and spelling by using Microsoft Word to write the posts so it does not appear that a 10 year old is writing this blog.
Its going to be a great year everyone!

Friday, 17 February 2012

Non-riders Riding Tips

My favorite part of owning a horse has been all the tips you recieve from people who know people who at one point owned a horse that they might have done something on they think.... I appreciate advice in all forms, i have learned to take some with a grain of salt and others i will learn from.

Last night i went out to the barn and the crush (Alex) came along with me, yes he has a name and i guess i will slowly start to put more detail about him into my blogs lol, Alex rides with the Lord Strathcona Mounted Troop in their musical ride. He is currently on his second year of riding with them and is one of their better riders... but those horses are nothing like mine.

While attempting to sit a trot he was reminding me to keep my toes in and to keep my hands steady... which i greatly appreciate the reminders... but they he started to tell me HOW to sit the trot and how i am doing it wrong. Now dont get me wrong most people telling me this i would take their advice but Alex's first time on a horse was with the Mounted troop im pretty sure, and those horses are 10-20 year old QH that have been ridden by about 100 different people in their career and dont really even need a rider to complete the musical ride. So after he insisted i was doing it wrong i got off and allowed him to "show me" lol.  He was unable to get G to go in the direction he wanted at first, then he couldnt get him in a trot, then at the trot he was bouncing more than i was. I couldnt help but laugh i wish i had gotten a video for you guys to see.

Alex is a good sport though he got off G and admitted that he is completely different from the other horses at the base, his movement is much bigger and a lot faster than those on the base. Its nice having the company at the barn but i think now that he might refrain from some of his "advice".

Im hoping to make it out to the barn tonight to sneak in a ride either before or after my valentines day date tonight.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Quick update

This week have been really busy, i have been trying to move my stuff all week into Alex's (crush's) house i was offered to move there for cheap rent. I went out to the barn yesterday because it was my day off and i was able to rush through packing and cleaning my old place (which is still not done) to get to go out and play with G. The Strathcona's were in the arena so we were not able to ride but we went for a nice long peaceful walk and worked on our standing patiently in the cross ties, not trying to push our way out of a stall when the door is partially open, and lifting our feet nicely when asked without a fight.

On Monday the ferrier was out and said not to worry about the crack in his hoof its completly normal this time of year, and that his feet look great.

Im going out tonight to ride and practice all the things i have learned in my last 3 lessons since i am to broke to afford a lesson this week. I will take lots of pictures at the barn tonight because i realise i have not been putting enough pictures up.

Hope everyone had a great valentines day!

Friday, 10 February 2012

Lesson #3 - Hop skip and a buck

Last night i had Lesson #3, i had spent the day fantasizing about what i wanted the lesson to go like to put myself in a more possitive mind frame, i was not going to get stressed, i was not going to be tense, i was not going to cry, i was going to ride my horse and trot and have an amazing lesson... one i could be proud of... and i did.

Everytime i see my trainer i learn a billion things about riding that i didnt know before... i had been lunging G on a slightly smaller circle then i should have been. I learned that tighter circles are a lot harder for young horses to stay on because it puts more stress on their muscles and joints, that it would probably be better for G to be lunged on a bigger circle. So we opened the circle up much more, T asked me to ask G for a canter, with the canter i got a gallop and a few bucks... that i am ok with because i would much rather he gets it out on the lunge then with me on his back. Lunging was the same on both sides... which i expected since he hadnt been worked since Sunday.

T gets annoyed with me sometimes when i take my time getting onto G, i like to make sure he is positioned properly and doesnt move while i am trying to get on... She feels that i should just get on quickly not giving him the opportunity to walk of and once i am on that is when i should ask him to halt and stand still. I find that really hard for me, i have gained a ton of confidence in the last three weeks but im not quiet ready to just hop on the back of a young horse i dont want to startle him... but i do get where she is coming from, what do you guys think? Which would you do just get on and make him halt until you are ready to go or keep circling the mounting block until he stands still enough to get on?

Our ride last night was great though here are some highlights;

1) Our halting is coming along. I am able to ask for a halt even a half halt using strictly my seat, my hands are getting much more steady and im learning how to use my hands and legs all independantly of each other. He is not backing up as much as he was in our last lesson but i have also purchased a dressage whip to help reinforce my aids, he is responding much better to me "throwing the reins at his face" and using my legs to push him forward to stop the backing but it is still some thing we much practise.
2) We are still working on the scary side of the arena G now will blatantly be rude and ignore my requests to go right into the corners which is something else we will work on, he will go into them perfectly fine half way through the lesson when he is paying attention to me and is more relaxed but i would like him to respect what i am asking him EVERY time i ask it not just when he is tired and doesnt want to fight me on it.
3) We did trot work (YAY!) with the sitting trot im learning to lean back and not tense up to prevent myself from bouncing around in the saddle, i also learned the difference between asking him to half halt and sitting the trot lol. We also did a little posting trot... i need to work more on my posting because i tend to lean forward and not keep my back as strong. I am also working on steadying my hands at the trot and not relying on them for balance. Considering last week the idea of trotting would make me cry im very proud of myself.
4) Im not sure what happened maybe my whip hit him a certain way but G decided enough was enough and gave me a few bucks and a change of direction with a liittllleee bit of a shoulder drop and i sat through it. I was not tense, i didnt panic, i kept my legs long (T droped my stirrups another hole and it made a world of a difference) and used them to absorb his movement and keep me ontop of him i did not pull on his face to get him to stop i just stayed seated and once he was done we picked up the trot again.

I have made huge progress with him i am so proud of myself and how far i can come. I will be back out tonight to practise what we have learned i cannot wait. Even with everything going on i feel like nothing can touch me right now, im ontop of the world...

ps... i am down 14lbs now in total <3 go me!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Lesson #2

Yesterday i was finally able to connect with my trainer to have our second lesson. It was a rough weekend everything that has been going on has finally caught up to me and left me a little emotional.. and i mean almost in tears at the dog park emotional.

So i got to the barn yesterday to find the entire place soaked with mud, im glad i have big knee high Mountain Horse boots. G was very easy to catch as usual but he doesnt make it easy, its almost as if he KNOWS im going to be riding today so he situates himself as far out in the feild as possible and just watches me walk up to him. On a possitive there was no stopping and refusing to walk forward with me. He was even amazing in the cross ties, no head tossing or dancing around. He was calm so i brushed all the mud off of him and cleaned his feet, we have made huge progress with the feet cleaning he barely fights me when i try to lift his feet.

So our lesson started out ok.. i was a little late and G was so calm so i was going to see how he did without any lunging. We did a lot of work at the walk tightening my core to get him to slow down but keep a nice big walk. We had a few scary moments in the corners of the arena but there was no running off or bucking it was just a little bit of panic and moving away from the corner. I tried really hard not to let that bug me or make me tense because for the first time ever i could feel how he reacted to my stress i could see his head coming up and how tense he was. So we worked on pushing into the corners going both directions. We worked on out halts, there are times were we get a perfect halt and others where he starts backing up on me which is something we will be working on a lot because i find that a little rude lol i said backwards not reverse...!

We started working on our circles and keeping my hands soft not using his mouth for balance and using my legs to keep him on a circle. Every time my trainer asked me for a trot i became terrified i tensed up and beg her to keep this lesson at a walk. It took everything in me to keep my mind clear, but i wasnt able to and broke down in tears ontop of G. My horse aparently really needed to pee because at this time he started to pee and did not finish until i was past being emotional.

My trainer is my best friend so she knows what im trying to deal with and with some encouraging words and reassurance that i AM good at riding i know what i am doing and i cannot let other peoples opinions bug me anymore, She asked me to pick up a trot just for a few strides and to stay seated. it took less time to get him into a trot than in our last lesson and it was beautiful. There was no bouncing around in the saddle i was using my legs to absorb the movement and hold me in the saddle, when i sat tighter and tightened my core he slowed to a nice walk. We did that both directions and i felt 1000x more confident in my riding.

She did make a video so once i get it i will post it... im sure it is not very good lol and its not nearly anything like some of the other videos posted on here but it is my 2nd video of my riding (ill try to find the first one in my horrible a/p saddle on a different horse so you can all see the progress i have made as a rider). I am learning and making a lot of progress in such a short time. I will be out at the barn again tomorrow since it is my day off, wont be riding because the Strathcona's are in the arena during the day but G and i will go for a walk and bond. Or maybe if someone else is our riding we will go along.

I still feel stressed and emotional today but with so much going on it is to be expected. I want to be good at riding i want to have the perfect horse and i am going to make that happen no matter what it takes i have a lot to overcome but i know that i can do it!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

ment to be

So apparently my dog has decided that he is ok with this life change and i should be too because he has made himself right at home at the crush's.

Maggie + Crixus <3
I promise i will add more pictures to my blog from now on... after reviewing it... it is a lot of words and little photos!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Runaway dogs!!

I didnt end up having a lesson last night because as i was loading my car i returned to the house to get the dogs and put them into my car. My dog Crixus runs to the car and patiently waits for me to open the door for him and will dive bomb into any open car door he can get into. Maggie (for the crush at least) will do the same... well i went back into the house to get the dogs and opened the door expecting them both to run to the car and wait patiently for me to lock up and let them in the car....

Wrong! Maggie bolted and because my dog is a puppy and not very bright he chased after her.... I called and called but they kept running and i very quickly lost site of them. My neighborhood is very busy with traffic and cars parked on the sides of the roads. I immediatly called my trainer T and she came to my house right away to help look. The crush came as well but he was a good 20 minutes away. I was so mad.. mostly at his dog.. which isnt right i know but this is NOT something my dog have EVER done before he ALWAYS comes when he is called.

We searched for almost 1.5 hours before we found someone who had seen them running around. So i got out of my car and started searching on foot... still nothing, no sounds no barks nothing. I met up with the crush and we walked the opposite direction from were they were spotted. My trainer T is so funny she pulled up next to me to tell me where they were spotted and she has some random guy who could barely speak English in her car... i love her to death she is such a great person, loves animals and would do ANYTHING to find them!

All of a sudden the crush points to a fence line accross a HUGE feild and a major road that is very busy with traffic and says he see's them... I was dressed in my riding gear with my knee high boots.. there was no way i could run that distance and catch them so i walked as quick as i could terrified to call the dogs in case they tried to cross the road again. Crush took off, he is in amazing shape might i add... and quickly left me behind... when i caught up he had both dogs by their collars.

My dog of course was super excited to see us and that us humans finally joined their walk, his tail was wagging and a big grin on his face. Maggie on the other hand knew she was in big big trouble and didnt wag her tail at all kept her head down the entire time we walked back to my house. I was so relieved that they were both ok and there were no injuries.

Once we got them back to the crush's house i noticed blood on my pants, Maggie was bleeding quite a bit from her nose and had a chunk of fur missing on her front leg as well as her back, one of her nails was also broken. I put pressure on every bone and her organs and no flinching her left eye was quite swollen as well, so i used a que tip to check if it was just a small cut in her nose... My dog of course is just fine having a grand ol' time jumpin around wagging his tail trying to get us to pay attention to him.

This morning when i woke up her nose was still bleeding a little just not as bad and she was still very sore and wouldnt jump on the bed but still no flinching when i put pressure on her bones and organs. Her breathing is a little shallow and loud but when listening to her lungs they sound fine. I may take her to the Vet tonight... against the crush' wishes he feels that she is fine and will heal on her own... but her breathing and limited movements make me worry, so i will have to sneak her to the vet lol.

Im exhausted today but i will be out riding tonight so more on Lesson #2 tomorrow. Hopefully there is no more dog stress.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Im posting a quick update because i have a lesson tonight so tomorrow's post will be much more interesting i am sure.

So i have been spending a TON of time with the crush and his dog has now moved into my house monday to thursday because we are making sure both dogs get along really well.

Crixus and Maggie

Well they get along GREAT. Maggie is a little older than my dog and she is the one on the bottom of the cuddle pile and my dog Crixus is on the top. My dog is a Black Lab Blue Heeler cross (unaltered for the time being) and only 9 months old, Maggie looks like a Black Lab German Sheperd cross probably about 5 years old most. They are adorable together, they play all day and snuggle all night... thankfully i am able to get some sleep now. Next couple nights will be spent at the crush's house to make sure they are ok there. My ex-husband has decided that he no longer needs to pay rent and with 1 day until the rent was due i couldnt come up with the money so we will be getting evicted and will be moving by the end of February to the crush's house in February.

Yesterday i was out at the barn to do a quick refresher on catching and picking out G's feet so he learns that this is an everytime i am out there kind of thing. I was very pleased when i went out to catch him he did not walk away he actually turned and looked at me while waiting for the halter to be put on. Getting him into the barn was a whole different story, he was being very stubborn and it would take me pulling on the halter with all i have and tapping his but with the end of the lead line to get him to move, you win some you lose some i guess lol.

Eventually i got him in to the cross ties and with little fighting we were able to pick his feet... he is still a little nervous about being in the crossties but he is doing much better. I had some time left to kill so i went for a nice long hand walk with him around the property and worked on our walk on commands and halts. I believe i forgot to mention that my crush is... well... hes also military lol, and works down by where i board my horse so on the way back we stopped to talk with him and he pointed out a nice little crack that was developing... i had seen it while picking out his feet but having other people point it out i figured i should probably head home and grab some Hoof ointment (tar like stuff) to put on the crack to try to keep the hoof moisturized until the ferrier is out next.

You can see the crack right through the center of the hoof. It is not all the way through the hoof wall so i am just going to watch it for now because it does not seem to be getting any worse right now. So i will keep it moisturized and see what happens. I did not want to put him back into the muddy pasture until it had enough time to absorb so one of the other boarders and i went for a nice long walk again around the property.

But my quickie turned into... well a not so quick post... i will post more tomorrow Lesson #2 is tonight.